Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A rose by any other name...

A dear friend of mine is expecting her baby any day now, and they do not have a name chosen yet. Her and her husband have been at odds for 9 months. I am trying to be empathetic to her, but I have to admit, naming our 3 children was quite easy.

DJ is named after his father, who is named after his father. Easy.

Anderson was named after his great grandmother. Her maiden name was Anderson.

Madigan was named after her grandmother. Her maiden name was Madigan.

But, now that I think about it, naming a a child is a big responsibility. A delicate selection process that must take so many factors into consideration.

Firstly, both parents need to be in agreement with the name - this can be surprisingly difficult! When a good friend of mine was choosing a name her husband rejects almost every girl name she suggested since they all reminded him of past girlfriends!

Then there are those who either want or detest ethnic sounding names. This can lead to conflict or even surprise - a friend of mine vowed to not use an ethnic name - boy, were we all shocked when the baby is named after a Greek Goddess and the middle name chosen is of German descent.

You also need to be aware of the initials for each name give. We almost gave our second child the monogram GAS! Friends of ours threw caution to the wind and their child has the initials BAD!

Fourthly, you need to think of all nick-names or variations of the given name that may be used to tease the child. You also need to think of how names will be shortened. For example, if you are not fond of Bill or Will, then William may not be the name for your bundle of joy. When I speak or write about my husband or when I converse with him, I am probably the only person on the face of the earth that calls him David. If given the choice, I prefer David over Dave. He actually gets a kick out of me calling him David, since no one else does!

Nick-names are a strange entity onto their own. They are a very important name dynamic. I remember when DJ was only a few weeks old and we took him out to a restaurant. The waiter, a young kid asked what the baby's name was, and upon hearing it, commented, "WOW, cool name, he will love it in High School!"

Anderson has three main nick-names: Ander, Ander-Pander Bear and Mezzo. We much prefer Ander to Andy. Mezzo is short for Mezzanine - since Anderson is the Second Storrie child. That one started as soon as we found out we were expecting! At first DJ could not pronounce Anderson and he lovingly called him "SanSon".

Madigan has been given the nick-names Maddie, Mags, Girlie and Little Jane. At times I even call her Maggie, and a small part of me wishes we would have started that nick-name before she was born, instead of Maddie. When she was first born Ander referred to her as "Mad-Man".

Nick names are a sign of affection. Sometimes the nick-name is given, and sometimes the person seems to "grow" into a name. And most nick-names have a story behind them...or in our case, a Storrie!

Then there are the arguments for and against new-age, strange and different names. Celebrities sure have led the pack with names a bit different. Parents also need to remember that the child, their friends and teachers need to be able to pronounce and spell the name. Wacky pronunciations and spellings should be discouraged!

David and I were lucky to come to agreement so easy - and IMHO choose wonderful, strong, meaningful names. But now, I can understand the trouble some new parents may face in naming their child. So, caution to my 5 girlfriends and family members currently expecting new arrivals. Think long and hard over your name selection. And heck, Laura is a good name for a girl.

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